Otters do not exist in Kent!
It’s official, at least it is if you believe the Environment Agency, who have completed their recent survey (completed every 10 years) of the UK and based on the results have determined that Kent no longer has any otters living within the county. Hurrah, say the road, house and rail builders lets get on with destroying more of the concrete county, no need to worry about otters getting in our way.
Hang on a minute, there is just one tiny error in all this, the EA are wrong. Otters do still exist in Kent if you know where and how to look. Admittedly the population isn’t very large and some areas have lost their otters but we still have them. Does make you wonder just how hard the EA were looking in Kent? Ok, so they may not have had the local knowledge required to actually find evidence of otters but did they ask the right people? Maybe a bit too focused on where they thought otters should be rather than thinking where they might be.
So Otters are doing really well in most of the rest of the UK which is brilliant, why not in Kent? Well think about it, unless you have a boat it is quite tricky to enter Kent with 3 sides of the county bordered by water. The landward side is equally hard to enter even for us humans as most of the roads tend to get gridlocked and rail services are not too reliable. For an otter wandering from Sussex into Kent a complete nightmare with road kill and electrocution on railway lines likely to be the end result.
The good news is that there are people out there in Kent that know where the otters are and are doing everything they can to make sure they are given the best chance of survival and hopefully increase their numbers.
So what else have I been up to. Well found a flock of 32 Corn Buntings just north of Longfield which I’m pleased about and it looks as though Buzzards are starting to populate the local area i.e. 1 mile so maybe a chance of breeding who knows. Some good flocks of Lesser Redpolls as well including a couple of Mealy or Common Redpolls. Might run the moth trap tonight for the first time as I know other folks out there have been catching some good stuff. Also first common frogs in the garden last weekend.